From here to God knows where.

I love Guinness. Just saying.

It has been almost four weeks since I put together one of my regular what is happening blogs. That is the longest since I started blogging nine months ago.

Why? I am not 100% sure. I did spend two weeks in Puerto Rico in the south of Gran Canaria, helping a friend paint his apartment. Other than that, I suppose I have a lot on my mind.

I have been doing my regular reviews of places I have visited.

Bloody Blogging

Blogging is tough. It takes a lot of effort and time. It is like pushing a car up a hill with me inside. They say that most people give up after six months. I am doing it ten months now. I might be stupid, but I have always been stubborn.

I am starting to see some small green shoots. I am starting to get visits to blogs I wrote when I visited the Balkans last year. It is small but growing.

We are where we are but where are we.

I am reminded of the recent economic crash in Ireland. Every day more and more bad news hit our television sets. We were introduced to new political spin.

Every month people lost their jobs. In desperation to be able to give good news, eventually the government told us unemployment had risen again, but the rise was at a slower pace. Things were getting more shit, but the shit was happening at a slower pace.

We are where we are. God how I hated hearing that in the crisis. I still don’t know what that meant. Thankfully the U.S cop TV show Bluebloods had not become mainstream then. Hearing a Government minister saying back in the day would have finished me off.

At least visits to my blog are not getting worse at a slower pace. They are getting better at a slow pace. Can I make a living from it While I won’t be calling in the IMF I might need to give a call to the credit union

Past Present Future

I have to admit my mind is racing at the moment. I am worried about the past, present and future.

It has been over two years since I have had a real paying job. I have been wondering if my life has stagnated in the past two years.

Then I remember in the past two years I have been to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Hungary. To be honest I have had worst stagnations.

I think I have sent out over 100 CVs in the last year. I would work anywhere interesting. No luck so far. I am fairly sure it is an age thing.

Young people are penalised by their youth. Low wages and ever-increasing demands they work for free.

Older people are penalised by just a number. Their age.

Young and old have more in common than we realise.

In May I have made a few euro on small projects. I think it was the first month in two years I broke even on my costs. Let’s see what next month brings.

It’s an age thing. Maybe not

The future. Feck. I have to admit it is on my mind a lot. This month I will be 57. It is not sitting well with me. I did not like hitting 40. The strange thing when I was 50 it was fine.

On my 50th birthday, I went to London to avoid a party. I like parties but not my own. As the clock hit midnight and I hit 50 I was in a London bar. I was chatting to a guy in a dress about football. It felt a good place to be at that particular time in my life.

My 56th birthday was ok. I was on Las Canteras beach in Las Palmas with some friends celebrating St Johns day. It was just before my trip around the Balkans.

I suppose how you feel about your age depends on how you feel about your life at that time.

Country days

It has been three years now since I have been in Ireland. This month three years ago, my mother passed away. Some say dementia and Alzheimer’s are different. To me, it’s much the same. The end is the same. Either are not a fair way to end your life.

She came from a rural area. It was only 20km away from Cork city but when I visited as a child it felt a million miles away. In the 1970s running water still had not arrived.

A trip to the toilet was up to the field with an old copy of the Cork Examiner newspaper. The morning wash was at the stream. Not very inviting on a winter morning.

I remember one day as I was driving my Mother and Father near where she was born, she mentioned we had passed where she first worked. She was a housemaid for a local farmer.

I said she was lucky she was less than 10km away from home. A short bus journey. What bus she replied. She got one day off a week on Sunday.

On this day her mother would wash and clean her. They would have Sunday dinner and later her mother would walk with her to the Farmers house. He mother would make the return journey alone. My mother was 16 years of age at the time.

I am not sure why I have not returned home in 3 years. I was late coming out as gay. Maybe I am afraid if I go back I might never get away again. The adventure will be over. It probably is stupid to think this, but maybe it is not.

It’s an Irish thing

What can I say. I love Guinness. It is one of the things I miss most about Ireland. Good Guinness. It is possible these days to get Guinness in most parts of the world. Good Guinness is another matter.

The best Guinness I ever had outside Ireland was in an Irish bar in Istanbul. It was owned by a man from Co Clare Ireland. He made sure all the staff were trained in how to pull a pint.

I am always amazed when I go to Irish bars abroad how many of the staff don’t know how to pull a pint of Guinness. Madrid must be one of the worse places for this.

I have stopped asking Irish bars abroad if their Guinness is good. They all say yes. It’s not most of the time.

The worst place was in Sofia, Bulgaria. The manager of the Irish bar poured a half a pint each into two glasses and started mixing them. I refused to drink it. I did pay for it as I had heard rumours that it was a Mafia-owned bar.

The most expensive pint was in Vientiane Laos. Twelve euro for a Guinness. It tasted like Sofia Guinness.

So what is the difference? I am not sure but Guinness outside Ireland is different. Maybe we keep the good stuff for ourselves and export the bad stuff. A sign of a good Guinness is when the cream sticks to the side after you have finished it. It is three years since I had a Guinness like that.

Join me on my journey. 

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Comments (10):

  1. james carroll

    June 3, 2019 at 9:59 am

    That was a lovely piece Pat,deeper that the usual broader posts.Theres a book in there somewhere Pat.Chin up we write our own scripts. Father of a 41year old gay son,he’s not happy at birthday times,he came out to us on his 19 birthday. Better than xmas day I suppose. Keep going Pat we’d all miss your blog.

    • PATRICK O Neill

      June 3, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Thanks, James. Fair play to your son. Wish I did it at 19 but different times. Better than Xmas day. I am still laughing at that.

  2. Richard

    June 3, 2019 at 11:23 am

    A fantastic piece Pat, like James there is definitely a book to come out of this as the guy on 96 FM “this is a very interesting conversation”! Life is tuff and it can leave scars on us all. Equally the last crash had a huge impact on our DNA it changed us a society, has it changed us for the better? That’s debatable the banks and the government changed our fabric and sadly in my opinion has been changed beyond repair. But I guess we aren’t farm slaves anymore!

    I would be honoured to have a pint of good Guinness with you anytime, any place in Ireland. Keep the chin up remember your mind is like a parachute it works better when open! Love the blogs

    • PATRICK O Neill

      June 3, 2019 at 11:40 am

      Ok, Richard but it’s your call. You caught me the last time.

  3. Peter

    June 3, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Pat, I came back to Dublin in 2016 for a couple of months, three years later still here … just saying….

    • PATRICK O Neill

      June 3, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      Ha ha ha. I not sure are you saying go back or dont Peter lol. Good to hear from you.

  4. Donnchadh

    June 3, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Another great read Pat, don’t be worrying about the future, it doesn’t exist, there is only the present!

  5. ZOg

    June 3, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    Breakin’ even be verrry good newz round these parts, congrats and keep fightin the…..wha’? x


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